The World's Fastest Indian - A Remarkable And Inspirational Journey

                                Enthusiasm is the greatest power. It plays as  a important factor, because for one endowed with enthusiasm nothing in this world is impossible. A enthusiastic person has this positive effect on others, which is really amazing. Put an enthusiastic man or a woman in a room with sad faces, suddenly things will start to change. Enthusiasm, a driving force for us is described in this lovable movie "The World's Fastest Indian." Although the title might look like a discovery or national geographic special, the movie is a based-on-a-true-story tale of a funny old guy who sets out to become the world's fastest motorcyclist at an age when most of his friends are settled in rocking chairs. 

   Burt (Anthony Hopkins) is an eccentric old man who lives by himself in New Zealand in the year 1967. He tinkers and cranks up the power tools too early in the morning. The little boy next door adores him. The guy's something of a local character and a local hero. For twenty-five years he has had but one dream : He dreams of taking his aged, beloved and much-modified Indian motorcycle to the Bonneville Salt Flats, USA,  to "find out how fast she'll go."

                   Burt Munro starts in this absolutely adorable quest, a road picture that takes this New Zealander on an odyssey halfway around the world and across the American West in pursuit of a dream. He mortgages his house, a local club raises money for him, and he works as a cook in the ship. All for a ultimate test in his life.

         Anthony Hopkins exudes delight in his colorful portrait of this passionate and idiosyncratic old timer. The film might be too small to garner Hopkins the attention needed for an Oscar nomination, but from the first frame, we think of Hopkins as Burt, not an actor playing a role.This movie is a tribute to his versatility as an actor. 

                   It took director Roger Donaldson some 25 years to get Munro's tale to the big screen. His love of Burt's story is readily apparent in the way he handles the material. Donaldson wants to charm you just as Burt does. He directs the movie with a affectionate characterization and he stabs us with an  message- something about holding on to your dreams no matter how old you get. 

Burt Munro (1899-1978)
                       Most of the people Burt meets are helpful. One lady friend helps him figure out how to pay for a trip; another (a transvestite) is the first kind face he meets in predatory Los Angeles; and a third (Diane Ladd) helps him cope with a busted trailer. Burt doesn't pre-register his name for the race. He's aided by a Yank driver  in convincing authorities to let him run. All the folks he meets, becomes unwitting allies.

                     Climactic race, in which Burt goes for the race across the vast white expanse of packed salt, is excitingly covered. The film offers no complexities, details about Burt's earlier life and family or even hints about why his old bike is so much faster than new models. But, we don't watch movies like this for complex details, so take a step back and watch this film as a man's spiritual journey.

                     Burt's life philosophy is easily explained: "You live more in five minutes on a bike like this going flat out than some people live in a lifetime." He doesn't believe in an afterlife and would agree with the sentiment: "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die." Burt's unassuming personality wins us over with ease. We feel for Burt and cheer for him, root for him when things get a little tough, and then we finally come to realize that there's a little bit of Burt in all of us, and that's why, ultimately, we love him so much.

                "The World's Fastest Indian" is one little gem of a picture. It offers up a fair amount of enjoyment, all made possible by a superb performance by Anthony Hopkins. Just remember that, we don't grow old merely by a number of years. We grow old only when we desert our ideals, and enthusiasm never wrinkles our soul.  



vinay said...

One of the many movies which I should be seeing but then I keep delaying. Thanks for the lovely review, hopefully I would be watching it soon. :)

Rohini said...

Amazing! Have to watch it asap!

Arun Kumar said...

@Vinay, Thanks for your comment. I also have a list of movies, which i keep on delaying to watch. So, sometimes we need positive reviews to watch the movie.

@Rohu, Thanks for the comment. Give your opinion on the movie after watching it.

Jen..The Butterfly Effect said...

Think I've heard of this movie before! Hmmm. Guess people like my bro will love it!! :)

Arun Kumar said...

@Jen, Thanks for your comment.

Mak said...

One of the wonderful movies i have seen so far.
Very nice review Arun.

Arun Kumar said...

@Mak, Thank you. A wonderful movie indeed.